By Yochanan Gordon
Reports yesterday, by a prominent Jewish News site, regarding mixed dancing at a Mordechai Shapiro concert at Binyamin Ha’umah last night, is an indication of the insidious influences of cancellation that has proliferated in the world at large and has sadly continued to creep up in our world of journalism.
Reports that Rabbonim decried the concert as disgraceful for featuring mixed searing crowds are problematic and inconsistent if true,due to concerts being held year round at Binyanei Ha’umah, by a plethora of entertainers, allowing mixed crowds. I watched the video in question on Mordechai Shapiro’s Instagram page and saw no issue whatsoever with men and women standing in place moving to the music.
Mordechai Shapiro is an icon across the frum world of entertainment both here and abroad, spreading messages of joy, positivity and closeness to Hashem with a modern twist, appealing to audiences of all ages. Mordechai Shapiro continuously uses his popularity to bring joy to the ill and infirm and has used his talent and influence to bring smiles to the faces of orphans.
In a correspondence with Danielle Renov of Peaslovencarrots fame, who was at the concert in Binyanei Ha’umah, she said that the crowd consisted mainly of families, seminary girls and Yeshiva boys who were dancing in place, at their seats to songs consisting of lyrics such as, “Ein Od Milvado, Schar Mitzvah, Mitzvah and Ma’oz Tzur which permeated the neshamos of everyone there.” These are boys and girls who were happy to finally be back at an in-person concert expressing pure joy during one of the most festive Yomim Tovim on our calendar. She concludes: “It is truly saddening to see that Rabbanim would contribute to the spread of hotza’as shem ra that was attempted in the aftermath of this truly joyous and festive event.”
There is a culture of cancellation in the world at large that has slowly crept into the world of jewish media. While I stand firmly against this despicable behavior, if anyone deserves to be cancelled it would be the people who day in and day out manipulate the Gadol Hador, Reb Chaim Kanievsky. It’s because of people like these giving a platform to these frivolous allegations that cause the words of Reb Chaim to go completely unregarded due to the power and influence that they wield in his midst.
We are in the midst of the holiday of Chanukah which is punctuated by light, joy and togetherness. It was these messages that Mordechai Shapiro brought to the Charedi public and for that he should be commended as opposed to criticized.
Let us seek to spread light, joy and good will and use our influence to unite and not divide and we will Gd willing merit to bring a close to this already challenging exile.